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24 SEPTEMBER 2020

The new Hydrogen Territories Platform was launched on 23 September 2020. The HTP will help to identify local replication opportunities for the development, deployment, and exploitation of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies for integrated local energy systems.

This Hydrogen Territories Platform (HTP) was developed within the FCH-JU funded BIG HIT project to support replication of the local energy systems model. The HTP will provide information and modelling tools to support and inform the wider development and replication of this model to other islands and isolated territories. The new HTP website is now live: http://h2territory.eu/

08 JULY 2020

The European Commission has released their plans for the integrated energy system of the future with clean hydrogen. This new approach to Powering a Climate-neutral Economy sets out an integrated energy system using hydrogen to support the decarbonisation of industry, transport, power generation and buildings across Europe. The international dimension is an integral part of the EU approach.

Clean hydrogen offers new opportunities for re-designing Europe’s energy partnerships with both neighbouring countries and regions, together with its international, regional and bilateral partners, advancing supply diversification and helping design stable and secure supply chains. The EU Hydrogen Strategy addresses how to transform this potential into reality, through investments, regulation, market creation and research and innovation.

06 JUNE 2020

The steady rise of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continues unabated. 0n 4th June 2020 scientists from the US National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego announced that the seasonal peak has reached 417 parts per million CO2. The atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels measured at the Mauna Loa Observatory reached a seasonal peak of 417.1 parts per million in May 2020, the highest monthly reading ever recorded and are now at levels not experienced by the Earth’s atmosphere in several million years.

01 JUNE 2020

The postponed COP26 UN climate conference will now take place in Glasgow from Monday 1st to Friday 12th November 2021. The Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) have now agreed the new dates for the COP26 UN climate conference which will be held at the SEC in Glasgow.

In the run up to November 2021, the UK as hosts will continue to work with all involved to increase climate action, build resilience and lower emissions. The new date will also allow the UK and our Italian partners to harness their incoming G7 and G20 presidencies in driving climate ambition.

01 MAY 2020

The Orkney Islands have just been awarded €100,000 in the first ever EU RESPonsible Island Prize, funded by Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme. Orkney was awarded third prize due to percentage of renewable electricity produced by innovative energy technologies locally, environmental and socioeconomic sustainability, community involvement, and the replicability of the Orkney approach. Since 2013, Orkney has generated over 100% of its electricity demand from renewable power sources. Orkney has recently been addressing decarbonisation of the whole energy system through innovative scale-up projects such as the FCH JU funded BIG HIT project.

21 APRIL 2020

The Hydrogen Valley Platform is a Global Information Sharing Platform, developed by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking to support the Mission Innovation IC8 Member States.

Its objective is to promote the emergence and implementation of hydrogen flagship projects (“hydrogen valleys”) and raise awareness among policy makers, thus advancing the clean energy transition.

09 JANUARY 2020

The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2019 - The Year of the Gigawatt has just been released, which offers data, analysis and commentary on key events in the global fuel cell industry during 2019.

Now in its sixth year, this free to access Review has been compiled by a team led by SHFCA member E4tech, a specialist energy strategy consultancy with deep expertise in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector. The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2019 is based on direct contact, either verbally or in writing, with over 100 companies globally.

16 NOVEMBER 2019

The 2018 FCH JU Programme Review Report is now available. This report was prepared by the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC) and reviews the activities supported by the FCH 2 JU. It identifies the added value, effectiveness and techno-economic efficiency of FCH 2 JU projects. BIG HIT was the first overarching FCH JU project covering both Energy and Transport. The field experience generated by BIG HIT with a hydrogen energy system in a remote and harsh environment will also be shared with other ‘Hydrogen Valley’ and similar local energy projects producing and using green hydrogen.

08 NOVEMBER 2019

The FCH JU will be hosting the second edition of its Awards in Brussels on Weds 20th November, the evening before the FCH JU Stakeholder Forum. This is free to attend, but prior registration is required. Please register here for FCH JU Program Review Days, Awards, and Stakeholder Forum before Tuesday 12th November.

 Voting is also now open for your favourite hydrogen & fuel cell success story and innovation:

18 SEPTEMBER 2019

Orkney is back in the spotlight with the announcement of the £5.3 million HyFlyer project which includes BIGHIT partner EMEC and will culminate in the demonstration of a zero-emission flight out of Orkney.

HyFlyer will progress the decarbonisation of medium range small passenger aircraft by demonstrating powertrain technology, replacing conventional piston engines in propeller aircraft.

This project will demonstrate hydrogen fuel cell powertrain technology for aviation.

12 SEPTEMBER 2019

The European Hydrogen Safety Panel (EHSP) has published a Safety Planning Guidance document targeted towards fuel cells and hydrogen projects and programmes in Europe. This first-of-its-kind guidance document aims to assist in identifying minimum safety requirements, hazards and associated risks when generating a quality safety plan. The document is publicly available on the EHSP webpage.

11 SEPTEMBER 2019

Glasgow will be the host city for the UN’s 26th climate change conference in November 2020. This summit brings together over 30,000 delegates from around the world, including climate experts, business leaders and citizens to agree ambitious action to tackle climate change. The announcement by the UN means the UK is now officially backed by the group of countries responsible for nominating the 2020 host. International allies formally gave their backing for Britain to host COP26 in 2020.

03 SEPTEMBER 2019

The 2019 Programme for Government sets out some of the next steps on Scotland's journey to net zero emissions, raising ambitions in light of the emergency we all face. Scotland is leading the world in setting challenging targets, and will redouble efforts to meet the challenges ahead. Protecting the environment and ensuring a just transition to a net zero future is part of the core commitment to put wellbeing at the heart of Scottish Government priorities.

29 AUGUST 2019

The first-ever distillery to use hydrogen from renewables could soon be producing environmentally friendly gin in Orkney. The HySpirits project with the Orkney Distillery and BIGHIT partner the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) will explore the possibility of converting a craft gin distillery in Orkney in Scotland from using LPG to hydrogen to make the process more environmentally friendly.

17 AUGUST 2019

The impacts of global climate change are now becoming clear, and the latest NOAA update for July 2019 from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration makes uncomfortable reading.

Much of our planet sweltered in unprecedented heat in July, as temperatures soared to new heights in the hottest month ever recorded. This record warmth also shrank Arctic and Antarctic sea ice to historic lows.

14 JUNE 2019

The International Energy Agency report on The Future of Hydrogen: Seizing today's opportunities shows that the time is right to tap into hydrogen’s potential to play a key role in a clean, secure and affordable energy future. At the request of the government of Japan under its G20 presidency, the International Energy Agency (IEA) has produced this landmark report to analyse the current state of play for hydrogen and to offer guidance on its future development.

Governments and companies from around the world will benefit from the report’s rigorous analysis, as well as the ambitious and actionable recommendations. "Hydrogen is today enjoying unprecedented momentum. The world should not miss this unique chance to make hydrogen an important part of our clean and secure energy future." said Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the IEA.

14 JUNE 2019

Experts from a cross-professional working group of UK engineering institution led by the IET have assessed the engineering risks and uncertainties from repurposing the UK gas network to hydrogen. This report concludes there is no reason why cannot be achieved, but identifies some engineering risks and uncertainties which need to be addressed.

This IET report on Transitioning to hydrogen: Assessing the engineering risks and uncertainties clearly shows that from an engineering perspective the large-scale deployment of hydrogen can be achieved safely. Delivering Scotland’s world-leading ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2045 will require us to tackle the ‘hard to treat’ emissions from heat, transport and industry, and this is where hydrogen can play a significant role.

02 MAY 2019

The UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) report Net Zero: The UK's contribution to stopping global warming is advising the UK, Welsh, and Scottish Governments on setting new ambitious targets for greenhouse gas emission to help stop global warming:

Based on this advice from the CCC,  the Scottish Government announced on 2nd May 2019 that it is acting immediately by lodging amendments to the Climate Change Bill. These amendments would, if agreed to by the Scottish Parliament, implement the CCC’s advice by setting a target date of 2045 for net-zero emissions of all greenhouse gases and increasing the levels of the 2030 and 2040 targets to 70% and 90% reductions respectively.

03 APRIL 2019

BIGHIT partner EMEC will lead the first phase of a new £28.5 million Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) project to create a Virtual Energy System (VES) in Orkney, along with BIGHIT partner Orkney Islands Council. The ReFLEX (Responsive Flexibility) Orkney project builds on recent projects in the Orkney Islands, including Surf ‘n’ Turf and BIGHIT. ReFLEX has been launched to digitally link distributed and intermittent renewable generation to flexible demand, and will demonstrate a first-of-its-kind Virtual Energy System (VES) interlinking local electricity, transport, and heat networks into one controllable, overarching system. It aims to create a ‘smart energy island’, demonstrating the energy system of the future, which will reduce and eventually eliminate the need for fossil fuels.

12 MARCH 2019

The Scottish Government has set out their vision for Scotland's electricity and gas networks to 2030. The Electricity and Gas Networks Vision builds on Scotland's Energy Strategy, which was published in December 2017.

The Networks Vision considers how Scotland's electricity and gas network infrastructure will continue to support the energy transition, the crucial role that Scotland's electricity and gas networks will play in the energy transition currently underway.

This new Networks Vision reinforces the key role that hydrogen could play in connecting and helping decarbonise our heat, industrial and transport systems. Hydrogen also has the potential to transform our urban, rural and island economies, and support the expansion of renewable energy.